New feature: support for RESO WebAPI data feeds


Back to the Blog Posted on July 29, 2019 by Cody Reichert

One of our biggest goals at SimplyRETS is to make it easy for anyone to build real estate software with listing data by creating simple and modern web development tools that that reliably normalize data from any MLS feed.

This is why we’re excited to announce the newest feature we’ve been hard at work on: SimplyRETS now supports RESO WebAPI data feeds.

Below you’ll find more information, links, and resources on RESO WebAPI, what you can do with it, and how it works with SimplyRETS:

What is RESO WebAPI?

RESO WebAPI is a technical specification that defines how data is transmitted from an MLS. Before WebAPI, there was the Real Estate Transaction Standard (RETS), which is still the most widely used data format for real estate organizations across the US and Canada.

As web technologies change and how we interact with data becomes more advanced, RESO is making an effort to support more modern standards, which is the main motivation behind WebAPI:

The goal of this standard is to provide a more open data approach using the widely-adopted RESTful (REpresentational State Transfer) technology in use by many industries today · RESO

This is good news for those of us working in real estate technology! If you’re using SimplyRETS, or a similar tool, there’s no need to pour over the specification - we take care of the technical details for you. But it’s still important to know the terminology and what types of data feeds are available.

What’s true with all technology choices still holds with WebAPI: there are always tradeoffs. RESO WebAPI preps the real estate industry for the internet we know today and fixes many issues that come with RETS; that’s a step in the right direction.

Can I use a WebAPI feed with SimplyRETS?

Yes! Over the last few months, we’ve been hard at work adding support for RESO WebAPI feeds in SimplyRETS. We finished development, added thorough tests and checks for our API, and are excited to announce that:

WebAPI connections are now available for all accounts!

Within SimplyRETS, WebAPI feeds are treated the same as RETS feeds. You can connect a feed to your account, and then access the listing data via the developer API or the WordPress plugin.

RETS and WebAPI feeds can live side-by-side in your account. You can have both RETS and WebAPI feeds connected to the same app, manage them under one account, and when you’re working with the API or plugin, there is no RETS or WebAPI specific knowledge required.

I already use RETS, does this affect me?

SimplyRETS will continue to support both RETS and RESO WebAPI data feeds. If you already use RETS and your MLS will continue to support it, you don’t need to do anything else.

If you’re using RETS and your MLS is making you switch over to WebAPI - that’s OK too! When you get your new WebAPI feed credentials, you can simply add them to your SimplyRETS app and get on with your day!

My MLS has both RETS and WebAPI, which do I use?

If you’re planning on using SimplyRETS, either will work! The goal of tools like these are to abstract all of the technical details for you so you can start building an awesome app or website. RETS or WebAPI feeds will generally contain the same listing data and only differ in how you access them, which SimplyRETS takes care of for you.

As noted above, you can even have a combination of different types of feeds connected to the same account.

Future development

Supporting RESO WebAPI gives us a good head start providing support for the changes we’ll be seeing in the real estate technology industry. The improvements available in WebAPI vs. RETS will also allow us to start working on new features and services that help create better real estate software and support new use-cases.

We’re excited to continue improving our WebAPI support and to see the fresh features and ideas it brings up as more real estate vendors start supporting these feeds. As always, we’d love to hear if you have any ideas for features and improvements, or even just want to say hey: drop us a line any time or leave a comment below!

– Cody Reichert, SimplyRETS